You may not even realize it but, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in your house. If you are an older American, your risk of serious injury is even higher. The process of getting in and out of your bathtub creates a situation where you are at high risk of slipping.
This can create a dangerous situation where you just one fall away from breaking a bone or even sustaining a serious head injury.
One way to reduce this risk is investing in a walk-in bathtub. A walk-in bathtub can dramatically reduce the risk of slipping and falling. The right walk-in tub is also a great option for those who are disabled and have difficulty using a regular bathtub or shower comfortably.
This article will outline the major pros and cons of investing in a walk-in bathtub so readers are in the position to decide for themselves whether a walk-in bathtub is worth the money.
Bathroom Injury Statistics
No one wants to believe their own house is a source of danger. You have spent so many years living inside your house that it is very easy to be lulled into a false sense of security.
So how dangerous is your bathroom? According to the CDC, in 2008 21.8 million people sustained nonfatal injuries in the bathroom that required a trip to the emergency room.
21.8 million people in one year is a large number of injuries from the bathroom. But it’s important to take a closer look at those statistics to put them in the proper context.
As part of the study, the CDC took a sample size of the 21.8 million total injuries and closely examined the circumstances and impact of those injuries.
The Below statistics are based on the 2008 CDC Injury study:
Bathroom Injuries by Sex
- Male: 35.7%
- Female: 64.3%
Primary cause of injury
- Fall: 81.1%
- Overexertion: 9.4%
- Struck by or against: 6.4%
- Cut or pierce: 1.2%
- Fire or burn: .6%
- Other: 1.3%
Primary Part of Body Injured
- Head or neck: 31.2%
- Lower body: 20.1%
- Upper body: 18.3%
- Leg or Foot: 17.4%
- Arm or Hand: 12.7%
- Other: .3%
- Bathtub or Shower: 68.3%
- Toilet: 23.4%
- Sink: 1.2%
- Other: 7.1%
Cause of Injury
- Bathing or Showering: 27.5%
- Slipped: 17.3%
- Toilet: 14.1%
- Getting out of Shower or Tub: 9.8%
- Loss of Consciousness: 5.5%
- Getting into Shower or Tub: 2.2%
- Other: 23.6%
Major Takeaways from Bathroom Injury Statistics
A few statistics really stand out from the injury report.
As seen in the above statistics, the bathtub or shower accounted for 68.3% of the total bathroom injuries. The largest cause of these injuries was bathing or shower (27.5%), slipped (17.3%), and getting into or out of the bathtub or shower (12%).
Females accounted for the majority of the bathroom injuries at 64.3% of the total and very concerning was that head and neck injuries (31.2%) represented the largest body part injured.
Probably the biggest takeaway is that over 80% of bathroom injuries were caused by falls and the highest serious injury rates from the report were suffered by adults over the age of 65.
What Does this Mean for You?
Does this mean that you are guaranteed to have a serious injury in your own bathroom?
Absolutely not. There are many things you can do to minimize your risks of injury.
Try to minimize slippery areas around your bathtub. Make sure to always move slow when entering and exiting the shower area.
The main issue is that no matter what you do, you can not completely prevent a major injury from occurring in the bathroom.
Even a walk-in bathtub is not a 100% guaranteed way to prevent injuries from happening. But the reason people consider a walk-in bathtub is because they are one of the very best ways to minimize your risk.
In addition, the right walk-in bathtub can add a number of important benefits that will not only add safety, but it can also add to your enjoyment and relaxation as well.
What are the Benefits of a Walk-in Bathtub?
The major benefits of a walk-in bathtub include increased safety, accessibility, convenience, relaxation, and increased overall enjoyment.
Safety and Accessibility
A walk-in bathtub allows you to walk-in and sit down while bathing. Additionally, a good walk-in bathtub will be designed with grab bars and an anti-slip floor. The very act of sitting down while bathing creates a significantly safer situation.
By sitting, you don’t have to bend over and put yourself in other prone positions that can increase your risk of falling.
Walk-in bathtubs are also available in a wide range of sizes that can accommodate smaller bathroom spaces as well as special sizes that can make it easier for someone in a wheelchair, or even someone that is heavier.
Convenience and Relaxation
Modern walk-in tubs also offer a variety of modern conveniences such as air jets and an in-line heater to maintain a static heated water temperature while bathing.
Some models even include a high gloss acrylic design and a glass shower entry door so you can see the water level through the reflection.
What are the major cons with a Walk-in Bathtub?
There are two major negatives associated with a walk-in bathtub. The first negative is the cost. The second negative is that you need a plumber or contractor to help you with the installation.
Cost of Walk-in Tub
On the cost side, a standard rectangular bathtub has a cost that ranges from $500 to $1,000. A quality walk-in bathtub can range from $2,000 to $4,000. So essentially, by upgrading to a walk-in bathtub, you are spending an extra $1,000 to $2,000 instead of purchasing a new rectangular bathtub.
That is a major cost investment. Ultimately the decision comes down to how much you value the additional safety and convenience value offered by a walk-in bathtub.
Another way to look at it, is that by investing in a new walk-in bathtub, you would have to spend an extra $5 per day, for the next year. Spending an extra $5 per day for one year to reduce your risk of a serious injury seems like a pretty reasonable trade-off.
The other negative is that a new walk-in bathtub does require a plumber or contractor to remove the old bathtub and connect the new walk-in bathtub to the existing plumbing.
The installation cost can vary based on the amount of work involved in removing the existing walk-in bathtub and re-installing the new one. A rough estimate of the combined cost of a new walk-in bathtub and professional installation is a total cost of $5,000 to $8,000.
There are a few things you can do to minimize the installation cost. The most important thing is to request multiple estimates. Never use just one contractor for the installation estimate. Always aim for at least two or three estimates.
Unfortunately, professional installation is very important for a walk-in bathtub. So there really isn’t any way to avoid the fully avoid the installation cost.
Ways to Save Money on a Walk-in Bathtub
The first important step you can take is to purchase the right walk-in bathtub online. By purchasing online, you can save yourself significant cost compared to purchasing a walk-in bathtub from a brick and mortar retailer.
Enhanced Leisure offers a full line of walk-in bathtub types at significant savings compared to retail prices.
By purchasing online you can apply your savings towards the cost of installation.
Walk-in Bathtub Options
We have included two popular walk-in bathtub models so you can get a sense of the features and options available for a walk-in tub.
This is a great high quality option that offers a safe bathing experience combined with some upgraded technology to make your bathing more enjoyable.
The 2852 offers a high gloss design and a clear glass entry door which allows full view of the water level. The tub includes dual drain technology that allows the tub water to be drained in as little as 80 seconds.
Additional safety features include:
- Textured slip resistant floor
- Two safety grab bars
- Anti-scald thermostatic control valve
- Extension box that extends up to 60 inches for a flush wall fit
- Sized at 28.5 inches wide by 52 inches long by 38 inches tall
Optional upgrades are available that add air jets, water jets, or dual jets and an in-line heater. The in-line heater keeps the warm water temperature stable so you don’t have to sit in a cold tub while the water drains.
For those people that might need a more wheelchair accessible option, the Elite 3052 is a great option. This tub includes an outward swinging door with a wide entrance that is specially designed for people with more limited mobility.
A few of the notable features include:
- Deck mounted grab bar
- Double locking door system
- Extra Wide outward swinging entry door
- Extension Box that extends up to 60 inches
- Door drain system
- Sized at 30 inches wide by 52 inches long by 37.5 inches high
For additional information, see our walk-in tubs on sale.